Anatomy and Dynamics of a Floodplain, Powder River, Montana

Pizzuto, J.E., Moody, J.A., and Meade, R.H.  2008.  Anatomy and dynamics of a floodplain, Powder River, Montana.  Journal of Sedimentary Research. v. 78. doi:10.2110/jsr.2008.005

Annual surveys and water and sediment gauging documented the growth of a floodplain on Powder River between 1975 and 1996.  We dug a trench to map the detailed structure of the deposits that created the floodplain.

The trench...


The deposits...


Modeling depositional processes demonstrates that long, thin sand layers cannot be deposited from suspension, regardless of the transport process (advection or diffusion), unless unreasonably high advective velocities of 0.40 m/s are used. Sand is likely transported across the floodplain as bedload.

A - Observed sand layer thickness
B - Modeled sand layer thickness


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James Pizzuto

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